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Barron's vs. Princeton's Review vs 5 Steps to a 5 - Which is the best option?

husainnhusainn 3 replies7 threads New Member
I will be a junior this upcoming fall and here is what my schedule will look like:

AP Bio
AP Lang
AP Psych
AP Spanish Language
Pre-Calc H

So, my question is - what is the best AP prep book option for these classes? I read somewhere that Barron's is the best for AP Bio and Princeton's Review is the best option for APUSH. However, i've also read vice versa. Also, is there any information on whether or not Barron's will drop a new edition for AP Bio or any of these classes listed above? I know it's waayyy too early to call, but I want to get a head start and just look at the material :)

Thank you so much for reading and responding!
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Replies to: Barron's vs. Princeton's Review vs 5 Steps to a 5 - Which is the best option?

  • udonlordudonlord 56 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Barron's has a reputation for being overly difficult/complicated for the AP exam, which makes it great for knowledge acquisition but not so great for the test.

    Princeton's on the other hand has a reputation for being more true to the test but on the easier side in terms of practice questions.

    I've only ever used Barron's but I've seen a few PR books and they look fine. I'd say try to take a look at both and gauge what your learning style is before making any choices. Barron's attracts a type, as does PR.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7990 replies85 threads Senior Member
    We have used all of them at different times for different subjects for different kids. It really matters 1) what you are using the book *for*: content mastery or test prep and 2) what content format style makes sense to you. If your library is open go and look at old copies of each for USHx and you will get a good idea of how they each organize what all covers the same curriculum!

    Unless your teacher tells you otherwise (or your school's class has a reputation for failing to do so), your coursework should cover the material you need, and there is no need to look at prep books until next spring. At that point you will be in a better place to figure out what type of prep you need for each subject. For some you may not need anything more than doing some practice tests to get familiar with the format, and the free ones online will do you. For others you may need more.

    tl;dr- you are right that it is too early to be worrying about this! If your summer is stretching out without enough to do, and you can't find a way to contribute to the greater good (the needs are many), and don't have an EC-type interest that is available to you, then do some serious reading in your favorite of your AP subjects (come back for suggestions if you want some!).
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